Attorneys in the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office held a rally on Thursday outside of the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland to show their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
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The lawyers wore t-shirts with the slogan “Black Lives Matter” and black gloves to signify “Hands Up Don’t Shoot,” the chant that has been repeated at demonstrations throughout the nation.
At least 100 public defenders stood on the steps of the courthouse and observed four and a half minutes of silence to honor Michael Brown, whose body remained on the street in Ferguson for four and a half hours after he was shot and killed.
“We see that one out of three African American men will go to state or federal prison,” said Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods during the rally.
“Today, when we leave here and we go into those courtrooms, we’re going to take a message with us” – to the judges, to the DA’s, to the Sheriff’s, to the police, to the members of the community in the court, to our clients – “and that message is going to be that Black lives matter,” he said.
Other rallies were held by public defenders in Contra Costa, San Francisco and Santa Clara counties on Thursday. Los Angeles lawyers held a die-in this week to protest police killings of unarmed people.
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